For such a bookish bunch of rune-readers , the rapidly expanding number of economists joining the commentariat on the state of the nation have developed a disturbingly macho side to their pronouncements.

UCD's professor of economics Morgan Kelly has been described as deploying "shock and awe" tactics because of the muscularity of his descriptions as he predicted last week that it was no longer a case if Ireland defaulted on its loans, but when, thanks to our bank guarantee.

The Irish economy, he wrote in that Irish Times article, is "like a patient bleeding from two gunshot wounds. The government has moved competently to staunch the smaller budgetary hole, while continuing to insist that the litres of blood pouring unchecked from the banking hole are 'manageable'." Cha-cha. You can almost hear the barrel of his pump action shotgun being reloaded with more ammo to fire at poor Brians Cowen and Lenihan in retribution for being so badly suckered by the banksters on the Night of the Guarantee.

Just as tough is David McWilliams, not a professor, but a people's prince of darkness. In a recent Guardian article on our "shattered dreams", McWilliams responds to poor ESRI chief economist John FitzGerald's prediction that we'll be back to business as usual next year. "Horseshit," snorts McWilliams, the strains of Ennio Morricone soaring as he blows the cordite from his smoking gun and strides to the Abbey Theatre to perform Outsiders, his stand-up routine .

Add in Constantin Gurdgiev and perhaps Brian Lucey from Trinity College and we've got the Four Horsemen of the Economic Apocalypse.

It's good to get an alternative view from the "we've turned the corner" whitewash the establishment likes to purvey, but jeez, lighten up lads.